Welcome to IdeaJones.com

Articles, radio stories, ads, columns, corporate communications, novels or scripts – we’re never short of ideas. We also have a small shop at Etsy.com.

 

Joey Jones is the published author and editor of many newspaper and magazine articles, radio stories, advertisements and commentaries, and has ghostwritten everything from speeches to love letters. She is a past Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting semifinalist and Fade In: Screenwriting Awards quarterfinalist. She also gathers sound and conducts interviews as a freelance field producer in the Sacramento area, and her on-air performance as “The Dying Fish” can be heard in the Water Education commercial series.

Mark Jones makes a living producing radio shows (check out Connections on Capital Public Radio’s Music Station). As Martin Jenkins, he’s heard weekday evenings on CapRadio’s four news stations, and Sunday mornings on 91.3FM KUOP Stockton/Modesto. Mark has also sung, acted and directed local theater and TV.

 

We’re about the story. Whether it’s the facts and figures of nonfiction, or the deeper truth of fiction, we want to find just the right words, sounds, and/or images to get it across.

We’re also about the process. “Do the work right, and on time.” Life’s too short to make things harder than they have to be.

 

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Art, Peace and Charity

Hi — we’ve been very active on our Facebook page (facebook.com/IdeaJones), but it’s been a while since we checked in on our website.

There’s a lot going on! First, if you get a chance to go to Blue Line Gallery in Roseville, CA, we’ve got a sculpture on exhibit: 00 His Own Man On Exhibit Ideajones

Second, our charity for the summer is Opening Doors, a charity helping refugees resettle. They provide everything from “welcome kits” with necessities (the refugees usually arrive with nothing) to volunteers helping drive people to appointments. A portion of each sale we make this summer will go to buy items for Opening Doors.

Among the items we have are silver necklaces in our Zazzle shop featuring our digital paintings, including these peace signs:

Peace Neon Peace IdeaJones Peace Square Tie Dye IdeaJones

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.zazzle.com/rainbow_ripple_peace_sign_necklace-177566414252534267?rf=238652286093066263

We also have items in our Redbubble.com shop and will be posting items to our Etsy shop as well. We’re hoping to buy a lot of welcome kits in September!

We have a brand new sculpture, just finished — pics to come. We should find out soon if it’s about to go into its first show.

Hope your summer is productive, fun, or both.

 

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Second Amendment Gun Control

Motivational Monday The Value of Life IdeaJonesSo many people have weighed in on the recent shootings. I’ve had to go on a “news diet.” After a while, the details, the repetition of what happened, it all becomes overwhelming. And I’m basically a busker. I sing and dance on the boardwalk for spare change, metaphorically. Who am I to add to the babble?

But we have to speak out. We have to have a babble, and more than a babble. We can’t afford complacency.

Over 370 shootings in America last year that had four or more victims each. More than one a day. Most of the answers will doubtless be hard to come by, and someone won’t like whatever it is. But there are a few things we should do right off.

Ban assault weapons. Understand that I grew up the child of a military vet who collected guns. I learned target shooting when I was so little I had to lean against something so the kickback wouldn’t land me on my butt. Half of my childhood was spent in NRA country. And I’ll tell you a truth — guns are fun. They’re often even pretty. You want a rifle to hunt or a handgun for target practice? Go for it!

But. An assault weapon is not a hunting weapon. It has one purpose — to kill human beings, many of them, quickly and efficiently. And nobody who isn’t active military or police needs one. Nobody. The Founding Fathers could not have envisioned such weapons when the Second Amendment was written.

And while we’re at it, the Second Amendment reads, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.” If you’re a strict Constitutionalist, you can’t escape the fact that it starts out with the words “A well regulated Militia…”  Not just “regulated” but “well regulated.” In other words, there was no thought of just anyone being able to just own anything. If you wanted to have a gun, you were going to be regulated.  We didn’t have a standing army as such, so the idea was that you would own a gun and be part of a state militia. Not a private one. Not one you concocted with your friends. Not an independent, private army. A “well regulated Militia.”

If the Founding Fathers had seen assault weapons, would the Constitution read otherwise? Probably. But it doesn’t. It reads the way it does and the Bill of Rights includes rights, but also responsibilities. So let’s throw away that tired saw that the Second Amendment guarantees the right of anyone to own any old gun. It doesn’t, clearly.

Which leads to the next thing we need to do. Whether you think Remington, Smith & Wesson are right up there with God, or you think guns are scary and make you a bit nauseous, you can get on board with one easy fix for our gun problem. Right now, the feds can put a person on a watch list or a no-fly list because he’s going to meetings where they talk about how to kill people, but they can’t stop him from legally buying a gun.

Let’s review. Someone who is judged violently insane, who makes radical proclamations that people he doesn’t like should die, who’s looking up bomb making guides, that person can be kept from flying from Portland to Los Angeles… but he can buy as many guns as he wants and drive there.

So how about that, for a starter? How about we get that national database going and require that anyone selling a gun, be it gun shop or gun show, refrain from selling to people on the terrorism watch list? Are there people on that list who will never hurt anyone? Without a doubt. Do those people need guns? Nobody outside of a police officer or military member needs guns. He might want a gun, and if there’s no reasonable reason why not, he should be able to buy it, but nobody needs a gun.

Lastly, registration. Before you rip my head off demanding why you should have to register as a gun owner, explain to me why you shouldn’t? No mentioning the Second Amendment — it calls for you to be well regulated. So. You have to take a test, get a license and register your car (as well as provide proof of insurance) to drive a car legally. If you’re caught driving illegally, you will be fined (if your butt doesn’t land in jail). And a car has many non-fatal uses.

A gun is designed to shoot stuff. It makes a poor shovel. It’s not much use as a screwdriver. It has one use, and that use is dangerous, especially in the wrong hands. So why shouldn’t you have to demonstrate that you know how to clean, load, shoot and store it safely? Why shouldn’t you have to register it? If nothing else, the money from the license fees could be put toward victim assistance.

I could argue that “concealed carry” and “stand your ground” laws are making us less safe, not safer. Everyone would like to believe he’d be Clint Eastwood when it all goes pear-shaped but really, think about the people you know. Are there more Clint Eastwoods, or more Barney Fifes? I know people who have concealed carry permits who I wouldn’t want to have a sharp stick, let alone a gun, especially in stressful situations.  Put them in a shootout and wait for the casualty count to rise as stray bullets take people out. But that’s an argument for another day. Let’s start with the easy stuff that any rational, reasonable person can embrace. The low-hanging fruit.

Because gun regulation is coming, neighbors. It just is. Too many mass shootings. We’ll reach a tipping point where even politicians who are sucking from the NRA like piglets will be put in the position of doing something. If you’ve ever seen what the government does when it panics, you can understand why it would be better if those of us on either side of the issue come up with some legislation we can live with and tell our states and DC what to do.

So, in this year when “Hamilton” is all the rage and we’re experiencing a renewed interest in our Founding Fathers (and Mothers), let’s really honor our Constitution and Bill of Rights. Let’s put that basic regulation into place. Reasonable, rational gun legislation.

Before another Sandy Hook. Before another Aurora. Before another Orlando or any of the other places where our people are gunned down.

 

 

 

 

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An Open Letter To My Species

Dear Human:

We are the only species in history that gets to decide whether or not to evolve. For everyone else, environment forces the issue. Adapt or die. If you can’t deal with warmer temperatures, or colder, or migrate to a place that suits you better, or develop a taste for something you weren’t eating before, that’s it, you lose your place on the planet.

Owing to our opposable thumbs, humans have been more successful at forcing the environment to adapt to us. It’s given us a deceptive feeling of invincibility.

But every species has to pay its bill in the end, and if you can’t foot that bill, you either fade out or the challenge you’re facing eats you, burps and that’s it.

One of the universe’s waiters who’s been standing around holding out a check is our tendency toward tribalism. It’s natural. You could argue that it’s the main thing that got us this far, after those thumbs and a willingness to eat almost anything. Knowing who is “yours” and who is other kept your ancestors safe enough to reproduce up until you. Tribalism has two main components:

  1. Identity – figuring out who is your tribe;
  2. Outsiders – figuring out what to do about anyone who isn’t.

Identity used to be easy. Your tribe was the people who were born, lived and died where you did. You might not like all of them, nor they you, but some social structure enabled you to coexist most of the time with those people. You were all related by blood, then as the world grew and changed, you were all related by an idea – religion, nation, etc. Either way, for most of history, the members of your tribe looked generally like you. Your survival depended on knowing who your tribe was and what you could expect from them.

Now, that’s a life’s quest. People move around. Is your tribe people who go to the same church, or people who like the same music, or just people who seem to like you and you like them? It’s harder to tell on sight who is “yours” and who is not.

Outsiders – again, that used to be easier. There are three main responses to the Outsider:

  1. Kill it.
  2. Trade with it
  3. Ignore it.

There are complications attached to all three, but while options 1 and 2 are well-known and discussed, option #3 doesn’t get a lot of coverage. We’ve always had that option. “Not like me” does not equal “and must die.” Those are two different thoughts.

It’s not reasonable to push for a “Kumbaya-and-hand-holding” world. We’re not there yet. Too big of a leap from millennia of “Not like me so trade with it or kill it.” Even “Not like me so trade with it” is only middling embedded in our history. No, option #1 has been the preferred option too many times. From there to “Let’s all love one another!” is like asking a baby to walk to the moon. He’s barely mastered the basics, let alone conquering all the other challenges that would entail. Ask him to walk across the room a few times first. It’s hard enough to work with people you don’t like. Welcoming their presence is too big of a stretch for most of us.

What we need to do, and it will be a conscious choice, is to acknowledge that there will always be The Other, the person who does not share some basic view on how the world works. The idea that there will always be many people not like you in really fundamental ways, that it’s a fact, and doesn’t require anything of you, much in the way the rotation of the Earth doesn’t require you to get out and push, needs to be spread until it’s part of our concept of the world.

The next will be adopting the idea that if you can’t bring yourself to be open to those people, your response should be to just let them be is the next part. We need to uncouple “Not like me” from “so must die.” We need to tell our children, and ourselves, that we have options when it comes to dealing with people who are not like us and killing them isn’t the best one.

If you happen to believe homosexuality, or being Muslim, or Christian, or a woman, or whatever it is you don’t like, is wrong, more power to you. We disagree, but you have a right to think that. And feel however you feel about it all. But unless they try to hold you down and make you join them, that’s as far as you get to go.

Because they are human, and real, and have value, and that isn’t because you awarded it to them. They just have it. You don’t give it to them and you can’t take it away. If your whole ego depends on believing you run the universe on that scale, wow, are you in for some bad days. Your life now probably isn’t much fun, come to think of it – being responsible for the universe is a big, thankless task. Ask God.

Option #1 is a lose-lose scenario. You kill, their tribe comes to kill you, so you kill some of them, so they… until there’s nobody left on one side, or both. Guess again if you think that mean your side is victorious. The land you depend on to live will be decimated. Many of your own, maybe you yourself, will die. It won’t change the other people. It may convince still others to side with them. You will lose all of the things they know that might have made your life better. Even if you are the ultimate victor, your wounded tribe will inherit ashes. It’s a zero-sum game.

And if you think God is waiting to reward you for killing His creations, you need to ask who has been “interpreting” your sacred texts and what’s in it for them – because you are being played like a cheap flute by someone who is using you for his own power and ego gratification.

We have a choice here. We can opt out of evolution, choose to remain not only tribal but violently tribal, and end up in the garbage heap of history, played by people who are using our fears and prejudices to control us for their own gain. Or we can nudge ourselves forward, determined to allow people who are not like us their human worth.

We can try for Option #2 in the hope that this time, it’ll go okay, and make our fallback Option #3, which leaves us alive to pursue our own paths. And if you really don’t like the other tribe, feel free to feel that way. Not like them to your heart’s content. But don’t flash it in their faces, because that’s rude and if you’re really superior, you aren’t rude. And don’t kill them, because that’s stupid and how can one be both superior and stupid?

Let’s just decide to grow up. As individuals and as a species. If we manage it, it will give us more time to do other things that are a lot more fun.

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Reception Tonight — Time To Get Dragged Out From Under The Sofa

Tonight’s the opening reception for one of the shows I’m in. If you can make it to Lincoln, CA, it should be a fun show. This is my second in this gallery and it’s a nice little gallery with welcoming people who really want things to be good for visitors.

Writer Carol Terracina Hartman gave the show a mention in her Examiner.com column: http://www.examiner.com/article/nature-and-animals-art-show-opens-saturday-lincoln

I’m a real introvert. I like people. It’s just that while extroverts gather energy from being around other people, introverts spend energy to be with others. I’m also shy, which isn’t the same thing. So I tend to either not say much or babble. Weirdly the fix for that seems to be accepting it and not caring much. People will like you or they won’t and there’s no predicting which way it will go, so you might as well relax.

For past receptions, I’ve always been keyed up and tense. This time I’m just looking forward to it. The weather is beautiful (my gosh, it’s in the 80s in June in Sacramento. Usually it’s “how have we sinned, Lord?” hot. I’m couldn’t be more pleased and surprised if Oprah Winfrey showed up on our doorstep and yelled, “You get a car!”).

So a short drive (it’s about thirty minutes away) with Mark on a beautiful day through the country to see what else is in the show (I’ve only seen a few of the other pieces). I don’t drink (well, I had a sip of Communion wine yesterday but I’m such a lightweight that almost put me on my butt), so finger foods, ice water and art. Should be a good evening. If you can make it introduce yourself — I promise not to hide under the furniture.

On exhibit June 11 - July 1 at the Art League of Lincoln in Lincoln, CA.

On exhibit June 11 – July 1 at the Art League of Lincoln in Lincoln, CA.

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Tips For Creative Types — Entertainment Sites and Artist Pages

As we gather information from those who know about promoting artists and arts groups, we're sharing them. May your art thrive!

As we gather information from those who know about promoting artists and arts groups, we’re sharing them. May your art thrive!

Entertainment Calendars
And Artist Pages

Do you play music, write, dance, act, draw, sculpt or otherwise create? Do you give readings, show your work or perform? Do you have an Artist page on the entertainment websites that serve where you are?

If not, you really should. Take Eventful.com for example. It’s a searchable site with information on entertainment options, used by residents and visitors to find that “something to do” we all look for from time to time.

I just figured this out recently. On Eventful, you can create an account that lets you list events, but what some people don’t realize is that you can also create an Artist page. This is a chance to get your work, and yourself, out there, and a chance for cross-promotion. You see, when someone lists an event in which you’re participating, if you’ve told them you’re on Eventful, when they create the listing they can tag you as one of the people participating. You can only tag people who are on Eventful. When that person tags you in the listing, the event appears on your Artist Page as well as on Eventful’s searchable database. Someone looking at your page will see the event (good for the event) and someone looking at the event will see you.

People can event click to say that they’d like to see you or your work where they are. If you get enough interest, you’re in a good spot to tell a venue or organizer in that town that there’s a demand to see you.

Go to Eventful.com. If you haven’t set up an account, do. Then click on “My Eventful.” At the bottom of the page on the right, you’ll see “Add Stuff.” One of the options is “Add Performer Profile.” Click on that and follow the directions.

There are other entertainment websites that also allow Artist pages. If you’re not listing on the entertainment calendars and websites that cover where you or your work will be, it’s time to take care of that. People can’t want to see your work if they don’t know you exist! Here’s a link to my new Eventful page so you can see what it looks like: http://eventful.com/performers/joey-jones-/P0-001-014197458-2

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